I was excited to try this Illuminating Palette from E.L.F. as I love the blush and contour palettes from the same range. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product as I had heard mixed reviews and to be honest, my review will also be a mixed one.
Before I get too carried away, let me take a moment to comment on the packaging. It is sturdy black plastic with a full mirror. The pans are removable and you can interchange them with other products from the range, which is nice.
There are four powders in this palette and like so many highlight palettes you will probably find that not all of these colours are going to suit your skin tone. These are certainly subtle highlighters so don’t expect to be glowing to the moon with these – they are well named as being ‘illuminates’ rather than highlighters in my opinion. At best these give a natural, soft glow. At worst they don’t offer much of anything.
The first white powder in the top row is deceptively glowy. It is a lovely illuminator albeit a bit powdery. You can really pack it on without it getting frosty and it is pretty on my fair skin. I find that the other three colours don’t really do much at all. They are really more matte in nature. It is probably best to consider these as illuminating all-over face powders, rather than highlighters. I use the beige colour (bottom row, left) under my eyes and it is finely enough milled to work there, but I don’t notice any real illumination to be fair. I have tried the pink and coral shades (top and bottom on right) as blush toppers but they don’t really offer much. I have also used the pink shade as a highlighter on my cheeks but it doesn’t really offer much illumination when used in that way either. I think that aside from the white illuminator the other three shades can pretty well be used all over the face if you wish for a subtle additional glow, but it really will be subtle.
I have heard people compare this palette to the hour glass ambient lighting powders – I don’t own them to do a comparison, but in my opinion, I don’t really see the need for four shades in the palette. One more glowy shade and then one illuminating face powder would have been plenty as the three coloured shades basically look the same when sheered out on the face.
As for the formula, I find these to be very dusty. They all have a bit of a white base and can look a little ashy on my skin tone and I imagine that would be even more of an issue if you are more dark complected. These do kick up a lot of product when you dip into them with a brush so tap lightly
If I had my time again, I wouldn’t repurchase this palette. They aren’t bad products, it is just that I don’t really have a use for them in my collection. I have very subtle highlighters that I prefer the formula of more. To be honest, this will probably be decluttered at some time in the future.